Thirteen episodes hardly seems like enough to be called a full season, but sadly we have reached the finale of Saving Hope‘s first season. The show’s second season will air in Canada next year, and US fans are still waiting to hear if there will be a legal way for us to support the show.
In a finale, you would expect the main plot would reach some form of climax, building up to a cliffhanger that fans will be left clinging to until the show’s return. In ‘Pink Clouds’ there was still a surprising amount of side plots dominating the hour. Any part of the episode that didn’t involve Charlie or Alex is a blur to me. I vaguely remember that there was a kid with flesh eating disease, and I remember having to hide my eyes behind a pillow for the entire surgery. I remember that Gavin and Maggie’s relationship is progressing, finally. I remember that Joel was about ready to leave until he was offered Kinney’s job. Alright, so maybe I was paying attention, but my overriding thought was still, “What about Charlie!” You would think that now that he is awake, the focus of the show would shift closer to him, but I didn’t really get that feeling.
Until now, I have never had a reason to be angry with Charlie. I don’t think I’ve even seen a reason to be disappointed with him. When we first met him he was detached as a doctor, never really letting emotion factor into his diagnoses. That, and maybe his cynicism appeared to be his only detractors. Now that he’s awake, it looks like a new side of Charlie might emerge, but I don’t mean the more sensitive side.
Charlie has apparently retained the memory of everything he experienced during the three months he was in a coma. He tells Dawn – of all people – that he walked around in a tux, witnessed everything that happened to him, and talked to “ghosts.” Shahir may have told him that anything he remembers was only a dream and it’s normal, but Charlie knows it’s not true. Does he tell Alex about this? No. Should he have told her? Definitely. Whether he wants to admit it or not, those memories have changed him. Whether that change is for better or for worse . . .
A young woman named Pamela committed suicide by jumping off a bridge, but aside from a limp she looked perfectly normal to Charlie. She runs into him multiple times, all the while hiding the truth from him. When Charlie realizes that Pamela is dead but he can see and hear her, I don’t know what I expected his reaction to be, but what we got wasn’t it. I was immediately reminded of the only time that Charlie met a living person who could see him. The Great Randall had been selfish, rude, and arrogant. He was the only one who could help Charlie and he blew it because he wanted to get something out of it and he didn’t want anyone to think he was crazy. Charlie was so mad and disappointed. He couldn’t understand how Randall could be so cold. So what the hell is Charlie thinking, doing the exact same thing that Randall did to him to Pamela? He went through what she’s going through! Stuck, needing help to learn why. Okay, so Pamela is dead and Charlie wasn’t, but clearly she needs help. Charlie could help her, but instead he pretty much tells her to disappear. There’s no doubt in my mind that Charlie is a better man than Randall, but right now it doesn’t look that way.
Charlie wants his life to go back to normal. He wants to get his physical strength back, he wants his job back, and he wants to marry Alex. I think everyone can sympathize with that. The fact that he can see Pamela is no doubt scaring the hell out of him. Also totally understandable. But does any of that give him the right to just brush her off?
These events – Charlie waking up, his retention of the experiences he had, and his ability to see the dead and presumably the comatose – change the show’s premise completely. I think fans knew it was going to happen eventually because you can only keep someone in a coma for so long. There was just no telling what direction the show was going to take. Personally I’m rather dubious about the “still talking to the dead” part. It has been done many times before – Medium and Ghost Whisperer come to mind - so it has me a little concerned, but the circumstances are unique, and that might give the show what it needs to stand out. Randall may be able to dodge the occasional dead soul, but Charlie is a doctor. His job is all about life and death. He may be able to pretend that he can’t see them but eventually it’s going to be a problem. The fact that Dawn knows about Charlie’s out-of-body experience might complicate things too since this time she is not going away. She is taking a permanent position at Hope Zion, and it looks like she is out to cause trouble between Alex and Charlie.
Speaking of Alex and Charlie, all is not sunshine and roses there either. Mostly it is, but there’s big trouble on the horizon. Charlie needs to tell her about his experiences or it’s going to cause a rift between them, and Dawn is waiting in the wings. The couple decides to hurry up and get married, but Charlie leaves Alex waiting at the alter when he discovers that he is seeing dead people. Alex already flipped out because she couldn’t find him once. How well is it going to go over if she finds him in a morgue staring that Pamela’s dead body?
Saving Hope has been a show that I have look forward to watching each week. While some of the characters have still failed to really grab my interest, I feel fully invested in Charlie and Alex. I want to see how Charlie is going to cope with his new ability, and how Alex will take the change in him. Dawn is clearly being set up as an antagonist and I want to know what she is going to do. Joel’s continued presence will no doubt cause further trouble for Alex. The other goings on in the hospital – job changes, Maggie and Gavin’s new found relationship, Shahir and Victor’s relationship, and the cases that come into the hospital – are all background noise to this main storyline. They may tie in to an overall theme of the episode now and again, but they still lack a proper cohesion. Still, this will not dissuade me from doing whatever it takes to watch the second season. Alex and Charlie have been truly compelling characters, and I have no doubt that they will continue to be so. It has also been a joy to watch and support one of my favorite actors, Michael Shanks, and going out of my way to watch a medical drama has not been a sacrifice because of how his talent and character shine in this series.
US fans have yet to learn if access to the second season of Saving Hope will be provided, but if and when word does come out you can count on finding it right here!